As soon as I got to Caen I knew I should have stayed longer… The mistakes we make. Despite being almost completely destroyed in the Normandy Campaign of WWII, Caen has managed to preserve some of its incredible age-old architecture.
The castle of William the Conqueror was destroyed beyond repair however some parapets can be seen still standing.
According to Arthur (my couchsurfing host), these famous Abbeys were built as a gift to the church from William the Conquerer. Why? because he married his cousin and needed to redeem himself in the eyes of the church.
My first night here, Arthur took me to a bar with his friends, which was hilarious trying to speak French, stumbling my way through jilted conversations.
It should be noted that I think the bartender poisoned us with a local cocktail: L’Embuscade, literally translates to ‘The Ambush’. I had one and my head nearly exploded the next day.
I had one full day here, in which I set out to see the D-Day beaches and American war cemetery. It’s hard to describe this place… haunting I guess is probably best. It is hard to believe, lying in the sun on Omaha beach that so many unmentionable horrors occurred here.
My second half day, I embarked on a mission to navigate completely around a the Sunday market by myself. I needed some eggs, fruit and carrots for my sustenance and managed to get what I needed… you could say my French is coming along nicely. Although, I did get a lot of laughs and I noticed the stall holders talking E X T R E M E L Y slowly to me.
I think three days would be a good length of time in Caen, it is really cool, it is a university town so lots of good bars and fun people. Arthur was an awesome host, and I definitely recommend couchsurfing as a way of getting around and seeing towns and cities through different eyes (she says… after having done it once).